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Glossary of Shipping Terms

Always Afloat (In some ports the ship aground when approaching, or at berth.)

Abbreviation for:
- Against All Risks (insurance clause).
- Association of American Railroads.

A point beyond the midpoint of a ships length, towards the rear or stern.

A proceeding wherein a shipper/consignee seeks authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.

A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill.

U.S. Customs' "Automated Broker Interface," by which brokers file importers' entries electronically.

Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance.

One carrier assumes the charges of another without any increase in charges to the shipper.

- A time draft (or bill of exchange) that the drawee (payer) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity.
- Broadly speaking, any agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.

Accessorial Charges
Charges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate, e.g., bunkers, container, currency, destination/delivery.

When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper's agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the terms, giving a silent form of consent.

A written receipt in full, in discharge from all claims.

ACS (A.C.S.)
U.S. Customs' master computer system, "Automated Commercial Systems."

Act of God
An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.

Ad Valorem
A term from Latin meaning, "according to value."

Administrative Law Judge
A representative of a government commission or agency vested with power to administer oaths, examine witnesses, take testimony, and conduct hearings of cases submitted to, or initiated by, that agency. Also called Hearing Examiner.

Admiralty (Adm.)
Refers to marine matters such as an Admiralty Court.

To move cargo up line to a vessel leaving sooner than the one booked. (See "Roll.")

Advanced Charge
Transportation charge advanced by one carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the consignor or consignee.

Shipment of goods on shipper's own account. A bill of adventure is a document signed by the master of the ship that carries goods at owner' risk.

Advice of Shipment
A notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and containing details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is often enclosed and, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.

Advising Bank
A bank operating in the seller's country, that handles letters of credit in behalf of a foreign bank.

Affreightment, Contract of
An agreement by an ocean carrier to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer.

Movement toward the stern (back end) of a ship.

Agency Tariff
A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.

Agent (Agt.)
A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agent are:
(1) brokers,
(2) commission merchants,
(3) resident buyers,
(4) sales agents,
5) manufacturer's representatives.

Aggregate Shipment
Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.

Agreed valuation
The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight rate.

Agreed Weight
The weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shipper for goods shipped in certain packages or in a certain number.

Agency for International Development.

Air Waybill
The forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in nonnegotiable form.

All In
The total price to move cargo from origin to destination, inclusive of all charges.

A phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods delivered "alongside" are to be placed on the dock or barge within reach of the transport ship's tackle so that they can be loaded.

Alternative Rates
Privilege to use the rate producing the lowest charge.

Ambient Temperature
The temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.

American Bureau of Shipping
U.S. classification society which certifies seagoing vessels for compliance to standardized rules regarding construction and maintenance.

The U.S. Customs' "Automated Manifest System."

Anti-Dumping Duty
A tariff imposed to discourage sale of foreign goods, subsidized to sell at low prices detrimental to local manufacturers.

Any Quantity (A.Q.)
Usually refers to a rating that applies to an article regardless of size or quantity.

Apparent Good Order
When freight appears to be free of damage so far as a general survey can determine.

Determination of the dutiable value of imported merchandise by a Customs official who follows procedures outlined in their country's tariff, such as the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930.

Appraiser's Stores
The warehouse or public stores to which samples of imported goods are taken to be inspected, analyzed, weighed, etc. by examiners or appraisers.

A stated amount over a fixed rate to one point to make a rate to another point.

See insurance.

Arrival Notice
A notification by carrier of ship's arrival to the consignee, the "Notify Party," and - when applicable - the "Also Notify Party." These parties in interest are listed in blocks 3, 4 and 10, respectively, of the Bill of Lading.

American Standards Committee X12 responsible for developing EDI standards for the United States.

A term commonly used in connection with a bill of lading. It involves the transfer of rights, title and interest in order to assign goods by endorsing the bill of lading.

- Behind a vessel
- Move in a reverse direction.

American Trucking Association.

Any time Day or Night Sundays & Holidays Included.

A direction across the width of a vessel.

Avoirdupois Pound
Same as 0.4535924277 kilograms.

Always within Institute Warranties Limits (Insurance purpose).

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